Graphic by Julia Fusco
Just under 97% of Suffolk University students have been vaccinated against COVID-19, and one student is sharing why he applied for an exemption to the university’s vaccine mandate.
Roughly 200 Suffolk students were granted exemptions from the vaccine, according to the university’s COVID-19 reporting webpage. While the CDC and Suffolk University health officials say the vaccine is effective in preventing hospitalization and death and is safe, students were allowed to be excluded from the mandate if they had a legitimate medical or religious reason.
One senior commuter student, who wished to remain anonymous, said he was one of the students who did not have to get vaccinated ahead of the fall semester.
“Through the school I have a religious exemption as a dynamist,” said the student. He said this means he is of the belief that nature is ever changing in regards to both nature and the virus.
In order to receive the exemption, the student had to write several pages explaining his beliefs and why the vaccine is not in accordance with his belief system.
“I’ve never had to write an objection before. I’m vaccinated for everything that is required under the age of 18,” he said. “I am admittedly opposed to getting [the vaccine] because I am for us training our immune systems and training our vascular systems.”
As a way to build his own immune system, the student follows the Wynn Hof method, named after the Dutch athlete. Part of his daily routine is completing a 30 minute breathing exercise that includes hyperventilation and hypoventilation. Then, on a weekly basis, he soaks himself in an ice bath for 30 minutes.
“But I am not going to go around and say no one would be dying of COVID if everyone got into an ice bath,” he said.
The student said he thinks vaccines are great for people who are not capable of building their immune systems and that he does not want to be labeled an anti-vaxxer.
“I don’t think it’s my right to withhold a piece of information from someone else that they feel like pertains to their health and safety,” he said in regards to disclosing his vaccination status to his colleagues, peers and family.
Faculty and students at Suffolk are not made aware of the vaccination status of their colleagues and peers. He said this helps keep him from feeling a sense of isolation in the classroom.
“CHW does not share the vaccination status of students with faculty,” confirmed Stephanie J. Kendall, director of Suffolk University’s Counseling, Health, & Wellness Center.
The student said he also follows Suffolk’s strict testing policy for unvaccinated students by getting tested every week.